The Baltimore Ravens are heavy favorites against the winless Browns at home on a short week. The Browns are a bad team, especially on defense, and have beaten the Ravens twice in seventeen tries during John Harbaugh’s reign.
Cleveland does feature a pair of explosive receivers in Terrelle Pryor and Corey Coleman. Limiting big plays from these wideouts will be crucial. Other keys to a Baltimore victory include winning the time of possession battle by establishing the run and making rookie quarterback signal caller Cody Kessler uncomfortable in the pocket through consistent pressure on passing plays.
The Ravens possess the coaching and intangibles to win this game. Earning their first double digit victory in a while against a divisional foe who plays hard may prove more challenging.
- Ravens will have more than 35 rushing attempts
The Ravens are averaging only 23 attempts per games this season and gained 1.7-yards per carry against the Steelers, but stubbornly stuck with the run last week for 29 carries. The Browns last five opponents have called more than 30 runs, the Cowboys gained 168-yards on 42 attempts last week. Even with Marshal Yanda expected to miss the game due to a shoulder injury, the Ravens should find success against the Browns 31st ranked run defense if they contain nose tackle Danny Shelton.
- Steve Smith Sr. will catch his 2nd touchdown of the season
Cleveland has allowed the second most passing touchdown in the league. Their top corner Joe Haden played well in last game against the Ravens and Jamar Taylor had a solid game last week on the other side, but they will be challenged by the speed of Mike Wallace and Breshard Perriman outside. Steve Smith should be utilized on routes in the middle of the field where he can maximize his yards after the catch and showcase his route running.
- Brandon Williams will post 2 sacks
Williams, like most recent Ravens, is playing some of his best ball in a contract year. Fresh off a strong game last week, including several pass rushing pressures, he should be able to do some damage against Cleveland. They have struggled to replace Alex Mack as center, Steve McClendon wrecked havoc on their interior pass blockers last week. The Browns have allowed the second most sacks in the league this season, that number will rise this week.